A Twist on Tradition (above)
Seeking inspiration from the rich heritage of South Louisiana’s architecture and decorative elements, artist Benjamin Burts creates pieces that are edgy yet complement even the most refined and elegant interiors. His large silver-glazed ceramic bowl with gold ceramic rope rim and handles makes the perfect place to display found objects, but it’s just as striking when standing alone. Piranesi Antiques and Interiors, 2104 Magazine St., 523-2000, or go to www.piranesiantiques.com.
Graffiti Goes Glam
Most often associated with underground counterculture, graffiti conjures up scenes of back alleys, subway trains and gritty urban life. Although graffiti writing dates back several centuries, the debate has been heating up in recent years as the line between high and low art becomes blurred. For those with an appreciation for this particular form of urban art, Studio Italia Design has created its Graffiti Collection of lighting. Each sconce, pendant and lamp in the collection is handcrafted at the company’s factory in Venice, Italy, and composed of hand-blown glass featuring white or black sketching. Studio Italia Design, 305/621-9602, or go to www.sid-usa.com.
Revival of the Fittest
A quality antique is like a cat with nine lives, and this stunning piece is a prime example of that theory. In its former life, this cabinet was a clock. On the outside of the ornamental case, there is now a mirror, and the interior, which once housed the timepiece, now boasts two shelves perfect for toiletries or curios. Ingenuity Interiors at Agora Galleries, 2240 Magazine St., 525-2240.
The Write Stuff
Pen pals will save more than just the note inside –– they’ll save the envelope, too. Linda & Harriett’s Vintage Wallpaper Stationery features custom-lined envelopes that have been cut and assembled from vintage wallpaper with a lovely tactile quality. The accompanying cards are just as dazzling as their encasements, with customized hand-lettering across the top of the card. Available in sets of 50, the stationery is made of 100 percent cotton paper and letterpressed with soy-based black ink. Linda & Harriett, 718/789-0307, or go to www.lindaandharriett.com.
Roots of Home: Our Journey to a New Old House (Taunton Press, $45)
From the earliest colonial styles to current designs that honor and reflect the past, Roots of Home is a visually stunning journey that traces the development of today’s traditional homes. Russell Versaci takes readers back to the beginning, when homes were steeped in Old World roots and tempered by New World realities. Through a fascinating tour of old New England, the Chesapeake Bay, the Florida peninsula, the Mississippi Valley, California and the Southwest borderlands, the author shows how culture, history and a unique mix of indigenous qualities shaped the classic styles that evolved in each place.
Courvoisier has combined two of the most stylish pleasures in life –– outstanding cognac and over-the-top design –– with the re-release of the last of the remaining collection sets of the Courvoisier Erte Collection. Originally designed by famed art deco artist and fashion illustrator Erte, the extraordinary images on each bottle of the collection depict a different step in the cognac-making process. Best yet, each bottle contains Courvoisier’s finest cognacs from the Grande Champagne region –– the oldest dates back to 1892, the year of Erte’s birth. Courvoisier Erte Collection, 1-877-SPIRITS, or go to www.1-877-SPIRITS.com.
House of Hope
New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos is best known for his distinctive architectural renderings, with collectors including such A-listers as Bruce Willis, Bonnie Raitt and Sharon Stone. Now for the first time –– and for a limited time only –– the celebrated artist has created a signed and numbered piece of wearable art that is as special as the cause it supports. All proceeds from the “Hope-alopoulos” sterling-silver pendant will benefit the rebuilding of the Girls Hope home, the local safe haven for at-risk/ high-potential girls that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Boys Hope Girls Hope of New Orleans, 484-7744, or go to www.bhghnola.org.
A Bare-foot Necessity
In truth, a finely finished long-wool sheepskin rug can hardly be considered a necessity, but strangely enough, this luxury becomes both practical and versatile when also used as a throw for a bed, sofa or seat. Made from wool from the finest flocks in Australia and New Zealand, these sheepskins are tanned into the highest-quality leather and dyed a wide range of colors using state-of-the-art facilities. They are meticulously cut, matched and stitched to offer magnificent softness and depth in an environmentally friendly manner. Hestia Luxury in Linens, 61 Park Place Drive, Suite D, Covington, 985/893-0490.